YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Speaking at a luncheon at the University of California–Los Angeles– John Ordway–US ambassador to Yerevan–said representing the United States in Armenia was especially important because there are more than 1 million Armenian Americans living in the US.
In a reference to the Genocide–Ordway said the US Congress is not in good position to recognize the Genocide because doing so might hurt relations with Turkey.
However–Dr. Richard Hovannisian–chair of the Armenian Studies program at UCLA–politely disagreed–saying that failing to recognize the Genocide not only hurts Armenia’s but also has a long-term and detrimental affect on Turkey.
Ordway also addressed the issue of Genocide recognition at a news conference in Glendale on Tuesday. Though Ordway did not say whether the US government plans to recognize the Genocide–he did say that improving relations between Armenia and Turkey–and Armenia’s and Turks–is an issue that needs to be addressed.
"It’s not something that’s going to go away," Ordway said. "We believe it’s something that must be handled with a great deal of sensitivity–and that’s what we intend to do."
Speaking about the Nagorno Karabakh conflict–Ordway ruled out the possibility of a resumption of hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan–adding that "Azerbaijan is not just capable of resorting to military actions."
"Our goal is to try and ease the tension–to make efforts to reconcile the conflicting sides–to seek for ways which would not even lead to immediate resolution of the conflict–but would allow to establish a certain atmosphere of reciprocal trust and outline the actions that would lead to the final settlement of the conflict," he said.
Stressing that he did not want to underestimate the aggressive threats from Azeri government officials–the ambassador said–"Deciding to resume hostilities would be unreasonable and would have a negative impact of the OSCE Minsk group’s and the international community’s opinion of Azerbaijan."